Adnoc awards 5% stake in Ghasha concession to Russia's Lukoil

The deal marks the entry of Russia in Abu Dhabi's upstream sector

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - October 15, 2019: HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, Chairman of Masdar and CEO of ADNOC Group (L) exchanges an MOU with a Russian counterpart (C), during a state visit reception, at Qasr Al Watan. 

( Hamad Al Mansoori for the Ministry of Presidential Affairs )
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company awarded Lukoil a 5 per cent stake in the ultra-sour gas Ghasha concession, marking the first time a Russian energy company has participated in the emirate's upstream activities.

Lukoil will pay Dh697.3 million as a signing fee for the stake in a concession expected to produce up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas and 120,000 barrels per day of crude and high-value condensate by 2025.

The Russian company will be the fourth foreign partner to join the Ghasha concession, which also has Austria's OMV, Italy's Eni and Germany's Wintershall as stakeholders. Adnoc retains the majority interest in the concession, which includes the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma, Nasr, Sarb, Bu Haseer, Shuweihat and Mubarraz offshore sour gas fields.

"Lukoil joins our other value-add partners on the Ghasha concession, which is integral to our objective of enabling gas self-sufficiency for the UAE," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc group chief executive and UAE Minister of State.

Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the country's sovereign wealth fund, signed a framework agreement to explore opportunities within the Ghasha concession. The agreements were signed during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

"The concession award, as well as the framework agreement, reflect the strong and strategic bilateral ties between the UAE and Russia and highlight the important role of energy cooperation in strengthening the relations between our two countries," said Dr Al Jaber.

Adnoc is developing its gas caps such as Ghasha in a bid to boost its overall gas output to meet demand for power and industrial use. The Ghasha project is expected to provide electricity to more than two million homes. Much of the UAE's gas is trapped in unconventional, sulphurous caps, also known as sour gas, of which sulphur has to be stripped to make it suitable for consumption.

Last year, Adnoc started awarding stakes in its unconventional gasfields to international companies to help unlock the reserves.

The company awarded a 40 per cent stake in the Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession to French energy major Total.

OMV was awarded a 5 per cent stake in the Ghasha concession, while Germany’s biggest energy producer, Wintershall, secured a 10 per cent stake. Eni has a 25 per cent stake in the offshore asset.

Lukoil, one of Russia's largest oil companies, accounts for around 2 per cent of global output and has 1 per cent of proven hydrocarbon reserves under its management.